Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Choosing a Pediatrician

Your Pediatrician: Friend or Foe?

Now that I'm on my 6th pediatrician in the same number of years, I feel I have some clarity on what will help make a pediatrician into an ally. Of course, it goes without saying that if your friend IS your pediatrician, then you're just lucky and can ignore most of this blog :) Most of us, however, need to shop around to find a pediatrician who jives with our personalities, styles, etc. There is little more important than our children's health, so finding a pediatrician that you feel comfortable working with should be top priority as a parent.

There are a few pitfalls that, in my opinion, disrupt the flow of healthy trust and communication with your pediatrician. Here are some insights:

-Administrative staff: the office staff will have a BIG impact on your rapport and relationship. Some offices have friendly, helpful staff. Some staff is abrupt and even rude. Some listen well in person and on the phone, where others are quick to give you a cursory response, leaving you feeling alone and lost. Your rapport with the administrative staff is important, since in emergency situations, they are the first contact before speaking directly with your doctor. Make sure you are comfortable with the personalities in the office.

-Listening skills: Your pediatrician should listen carefully to your concerns and needs. If you feel you are not being heard, but you passively go along with what the doctor says, you are effectively allowing your pediatrician to become more of a dictator in your life than a source of support and guidance. You should feel that your pediatrician is patient and listens to your needs and those of your children.

-Timing: Most of us with small children visit the doctor multiple times a year. A long time in the waiting room can make both children and adults cranky, and personally I think it's rude to leave patients (aka "clients") waiting for longer than 1/2 hour without explanation. After all, once the waiting room time is over, there is still time you'll be waiting in the check-up room! Some offices are better than others in monitoring and managing the flow of patients. Find one that respects your time the same way you would respect theirs.

-Personal attention: I am a firm believer in sole-practices. I feel that there is a qualitative difference working with a doctor who intimately knows my children, my history, and my style, without needing to decipher his colleague's handwriting in the charts. Indeed, in my experience with sole-practice doctors, they are generally kinder and more patient than large practices, which are more anonymous. In larger practices, it's just easier to get lost in the shuffle. And when facing middle-of-the-night calls, it's helpful to have a pediatrician who doesn't even need to check the chart, but remembers your visit from a few hours earlier and can advise you quickly and effectively.

It's very important to do your homework in choosing a doctor. Don't feel guilty about switching, if you find that it is not a fit - your child's health and well-being is infinitely more important than any other consideration, so you just need to do what is right for you, without thinking twice.

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